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February 2, 2012

The Most Important Vitamin You'll Ever Take


by Sherrell Dorsey of OrganicBeautyVixen

Before she was diagnosed with multiple-slerosis my aunt lived a vibrant, active and healthy life. My cousin and I would sit at her feet and listen to stories of her college days, her time as a waitress serving sundae’s in roller skates and dancing to Earth, Wind and Fire with her girlfriends.

Now, moving slowly and with a cane in tote, she continues to keep a smile on her face as those memories fade into the distance. I always wondered, how could this disease that rules her life, have been prevented?

As a black girl born and raised in the North West, I don’t get much sun. Thank God that I left for college and spend a lot of time traveling to warmer climates. But for many people of color in the North West we’re plagued by many diseases that potentially could have been prevented with more vitamin D intake.

Back in September the news broke out that African-Americans aren’t getting enough sun and with our darker skin we are becoming more and more deficient. The Root reported that vitamin D has recently been shown to lower the risk of diabetes, hypertension, multiple sclerosis, osteoporosis, memory loss and several types of cancer.

So how do you get your daily dose? Here are a few tips to step up your prevention game inside and out!

  • Get outside for at least 30 minutes per day for natural sunlight exposure. Still keep your skin protected from harmful rays with a physical sunscreen however!
  • Get at least 1,000 IU’s a day of vitamin D through a daily supplement. I bought a 2-month supply of the tiny capsules from Trader Joe’s for less than 5 bucks.
  • Eat fish fatty fish like wild Alaskan salmon (lower content of mercury), mackerel and cod liver oil (old school style) for natural vitamin D that will also make your skin glow.

Make it a priority for you and your family to stay consistent with daily vitamin D exposure for healthy living you’ll be thankful for.


Sherrell Dorsey is a natural beauty expert, writer, speaker and advocate of health, wellness and sustainability in communities of color. In addition to creating OrganicBeautyVixen.com, Sherrell writes beauty articles for Tyra Banks's beauty and fashion site TypeF.com, Jones Magazine, MySalonScoop.com and Posh Beauty. Follow Sherrell on twitter at www.twitter.com/organicvixen

14 Chime in!:

Anonymous said...

My doc checked mine recently and found it to be low. I was put on a 12 week (once a week) course of very high dose Vit D (one small pill which has 50,000iu of Vit D) to get it into normal range. After that, I will be taking a daily supplement of 2,000 iu.
I'm so glad I found out before problems started.

Anonymous said...

that's sad...in my experience..many blacks are afraid of the sun b/c they will become darker..i love the sun it's so good for you! even for your acne!

Jessie said...

I received a call from my doctor yesterday and she told me I have a Vitamin D deficiency. I take every other vitamin out there, but I never thought to take Vitamin D. I'm hoping it will help me feel better. Thanks for the post!

Anonymous said...

About 2 months ago I had a full physical including blood work. My MD found that I was vitamin D deficient. She stated that the average level is 30 and I was at a 19. She recommended that I take 5000 IUs daily before bedtime. She informed me that it is great for hair and skin. It is so easy to take that tiny little vitamin each day.

Anonymous said...

Great article! I recently found out I was extremely deficient on Vitamin D which I believe is the result of living in Texas all my life then moving to DC. Needless to say, I also take the 50000 IU once a week now as well...

Anonymous said...

Vit D deficiency is common in ALL races of people. Black people (and people of ANY race) who love the sun AND those who avoid it are at risk. I don't know of any Vit D deficient black people who became so due to a fear of getting darker.

Jasmine said...

I didn't realize how essential getting sun was until I wasn't getting enough. I grew up in sunny Florida and I spent a lot of time outdoors. Then, after college began working crazy hours and I wasn't getting my usual dose of sun and found out I had a deficiency. My vitamin D levels are normal now, but I honestly had no clue. And I think that's the case for a lot of people.

Bizzy Cash said...

Thanks for this most informative post.
I'll be getting mine through Swansons vitamins.

Sparkle Arts said...

Vitamin D also helps in the absorption of calcium. If the levels of vitamin D are low the body is forced to find calcium from somewhere else - the bones. This weakens the bones and leads to osteoporosis

Anonymous said...

Okay so I am not alone! I am 31 years old and just had my physical also and the same thing was found....Vitamin D deficient. I take my vitamins daily but is was true, that I dont take in enough vitamin D. I love the outdoors and fish but i am not a heavy dairy eater of milk and cheeses. I was very suprised....

Anonymous said...

My Dr started me on Vitamin D to help with my Depression symptoms. I take 2000iu along with a B complex and magnezium w/zinc. I find could use a lower dose of anti depressants and still maintain a positive and stable attitude.

Anonymous said...

During a routine blood exam, I too was notified by the doctor that I was Vitamin D deficient. I had to take 50,000 IU for 8 weeks. Now I take 2000 IU per day.

surVIVEr28 said...

You should see my kid run everytime i break out the Cod liver oil . LOL. But i found when we use it, we get sick less often. Thank you Nikki for the highlight. and Thank you Mom for the tradition.

Danisha said...

I am vitamin D deficient as well and I have MS. Doc presribed my 50,000IU and at least 30minutes of sun every day in the warmer months lol

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